Yikes! I’m Not Ready!

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I’m never ready. Every year I turn the page on the calendar, and the holidays are suddenly staring me in the face. And every year I say the same thing: I’m not ready.

Why not? It’s not as if the holiday season is a surprise when it arrives. Thanksgiving is always on the fourth Thursday of November. Christmas is always the twenty-fifth of December. And every Labor Day I promise myself this year will be different. I have all of September and October and even part of November to prepare.

Problem is, year after year, September and October pass faster than Superman racing the proverbial locomotive. And then I’m staring November in the face, wondering where the time went and wishing for a do-over. Still, I find myself scurrying to accomplish all the things I’d planned to make the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays perfect.

Maybe that’s the problem. I want everything about the holidays to be perfect. I’ve watched all the holiday movies with their happy-ever-after endings. I’ve read the magazines with their picture-perfect spreads. I even cry at the Hallmark commercials.

Then I race around, trying to reproduce an ideal that isn’t real to begin with….

  • Decorations? Check.
  • Tree? Up.
  • Christmas cards? Mailed.
  • Cookies? Baked.
  • Gifts? Wrapped.

Time for a change

It’s about time I realized that the perfect Christmas holiday is over-rated, not to mention impossible to achieve. Yes, the trappings may be in place, but I end up missing the joy. Although my table might be laden with Christmas cookies, my expectations remain unfulfilled. No matter how many magazines I read or movies I watch, something about my plans will fall short.

This year will be different.

This year, I’m revising my expectations. I will focus less on what I want the season to be, and more on what it is…the celebration of the birth of God Incarnate. And I’ll enjoy the change of weather in September and October without fretting about November and December and the new year just around the corner.

As the days shorten and the nights lengthen, I’ll live in the moment, relishing the beauty of creation and the joy of relationships.

Bring on the holidays! I plan to savor each and every day leading up to the “most wonderful time of the year.” Hope you’ll join me!

Ava Pennington

After a 20-year corporate career, Ava Pennington is thoroughly enjoying her second career as an author, teacher, and speaker. Her book, Daily Reflections on the Names of God: A Devotional, is published by Revell Books and endorsed by Kay Arthur, founder of Precepts Ministries. Ava has also written for numerous magazines, such as Today’s Christian Woman and Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse. Her work has been published in 30+ anthologies, including 25 Chicken Soup for the Soul books. Ava also teaches a weekly Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) class. When she’s not writing and teaching, Ava and her husband enjoy playing with their mischievous 3-year-old Boxers, Duke & Daisy. For more information, visit www.AvaWrites.com.

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